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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari


“Ubique stands on a fauna of heterogeneous tones which exploits without half-measure a complex work at the level of the sequencer and its multiple percussive effects”

1 Ubique, Pt. 1 5:47

2 Binary Star 6:46

3 Halo (Remix) 6:34

4 Corona 7:36

5 Aurora 6:51

6 Mira's Tail 7:18

7 Quasar 6:12

8 Ubique, Pt. 2 6:32

9 Langmuir Waves 9:21

(CD 63:03) (V.F.)

(Psybient, Dark Ambient, Berlin School)

One thing I've learned since I've been in the EM universe, either since 2002, is that it's good to get out of your comfort zone and try different things. This is how I discovered and appreciated the Dark Ambient, the progressive New Age of Spotted Peccary and the fabulous universe of psybient and its structures of ambient rhythms that are always close to the rhythms blooming in the structures of the Berlin School. You have probably come to understand that I enjoyed traveling with the music of Fourth Dimension, a duet composed of Strahinja Maletić and Strahinja Zdravković; two Serbian musicians who already have half a dozen of albums on the clock, and of which UBIQUE is a 3rd on the Californian label Synphaera Records. And I discovered a surprising album that travels among all the essences of EM and especially which is oversized by an impressive sound fauna. A fauna of heterogeneous tones which exploits without half-measure a complex work at the level of the sequencer and its multiple percussive effects in an album which has literally seduced me. Here's why…

It's a synthesizer blade and its apocalyptic tone that announces the beginning of UBIQUE and its fight between the demons of the Berlin School and the Dark Ambient and its psybient vision. The envelope is dense with the addition of electronic tones belonging to the cosmos and its stars. It hides a movement of the sequencer that releases a discrete rhythmic structure. Already, these belligerents display their presence. Reverberant pads of obscure heaviness add weight to the equation while a fascinating sequenced movement spreads none less strange whispers. It's with these two ornaments that Ubique, Pt. 1 sinks into our ears with the firm intensity of nesting there, at least until the last second of Langmuir Waves. But already, I am very seduced by the very aesthetic signature of Fourth Dimension. Through the two main elements of rhythm and melody, the musical setting invites tones that come from vintage times and of the latest discoveries from psybient and the modular synths. Laminated carbon dioxide percussions and chirpings that have changed through the wear of radiation are among a plethora of sound elements that are behind the captivating 63 minutes of UBIQUE. Binary Star follows with an old tone of the Dusseldorf School genre which becomes the origin of a slow rhythm where each pulsation is drowned by reverberant drones and get pecking through percussion elements dancing like eroded castanets. The atmospheres are transformed a beautiful electronic melody very vintage, I do not know why I think of Michael Rother here, while the pace comes alive a little to reach a down-tempo less morphic. And always, the duet Strahinja Maletić and Strahinja Zdravković take advantage of every moment to add sound salt to its recipe of ambient rhythms. This ritornello swaps in contemporary rhyme with Halo (Remix). The movement is more nebulous here with gas effects stifled by dense haze that doesn't hesitate to let in the sounds of Fourth Dimension. The rhythm is hypnotic and structured by beats where a series of circular percussive effects are added. The decor is psybient and flirts with that of Carbon Based Lifeforms.

Our ears are in expert hands that have this gift of advancing the intensity of rhythms and of ambiences. And the percussion effects have this nice tendency to form random lines that surprise in some places in this album. Corona evolves in this same setting. Its rhythm sparkles a little more with percussive slamming from which escape countless percussive filaments, like a rhythmic bug that gives birth to a litter. Split between its Electronica rhythm for Zombies and Berlin School, Corona bypasses this obsession to release an attractive harmonic mass that remains firmly anchored in the back of the ears. No, but what a beautiful melodic obsession well muffled by an idle haze! A sucking effect takes us out of this obsession to release Aurora's slow rhythm. The synth pads have an orchestral flavor à la Vangelis, Blade Runner, and flow with crackling tones and another avalanche of percussive elements. It's mostly an ambient track with some rhythmic impulses that are contained by another impressive sound fauna that takes us to the lands of Solar Fields. Ditto for Mira's Tail which is built around vaporous lines by projecting an auditory vision of hoops of fog whose frames come and go to deposit slight space clashes. The rich layers of cosmic ambiences are contrasting with this sneaky rhythm which ends its course in a good psybient whose intensity reaches an almost electronic psychedelic rock.In a buzzing din, Quasar brings us a distant memory of an Ultravox melody, Fade to Gray, which is whispered by vibrations whose language without words is close to that of cosmic whales. Its rhythm is stationary, even if percussive elements multiply their strikes by ten. Ubique, Pt. 2 is clearly more in rhythmic mission with a good Berlin School vision. One discovers a great intensity in this structure at first ambient of which the nervous rhythmic spasms are pecking by percussions that machine gun a frenzied rhythm surrounded by synth pads to celestial breaths in order to maintain this rhythmic rage in its embryonic state. And so, we drift to Langmuir Waves and its slow introduction of cosmic dialogue on a minimalist structure that is very Berlin School. Despite all the sonic delicacies that adorn the firmament watching over a fluid and bouncy structure, long waves of reverberations buzz on an approach in constant movement and whose rhythmic intensity is still trapped by this essence of Dark Ambient in search of these demons of the Berlin School.

Sylvain Lupari (07/08/19) ****¼*

Available at Synphaera Bandcamp

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